Jan. 10, 2013
STANFORD, Calif. -
Each Thursday, GoStanford.com presents an interview between a former Stanford gymnast and team manager Tori Lewis. This week, Tori interviews Shelly Goldberg. The following is Tori's conversation with Shelly:
Tori: Can you catch everyone on up on what you've been doing since you graduated from Stanford?
Shelly: I stayed for a fifth year to do my coterm, so I got my masters in mechanical engineering. After that, I started working full time at Apple. I had taken an internship at Apple after my junior year at Stanford and then went back to intern again after my senior year and then started full time after my coterm. I now manage a team of product design mechanical engineers at Apple who work on Mac products like the laptops and iMacs. So I've been doing that for 8 years. And I got married in September.
Tori: What do you consider your greatest accomplishment?
Shelly: Figuring out how to lead a team of people to a common goal, outside a school or athletic environment, is something I've learned to do at Apple and will likely continue to do for the rest of my career. It's something that I learned a lot from Stanford as well.
Tori: What life lesson has stuck with you from your time in the gym?
Shelly: Realizing that if you have a goal and you're willing to work really, really hard to achieve that goal, regardless of whether you're the most talented person, you can achieve that goal through hard work and perseverance.
Tori: What's your favorite memory from SWG?
Shelly: So many! My particular class started in 2000 and there were 6 of us. I have a lot of vivid memories from our freshman year, mainly just times when we were all hanging out together as a team, especially when we were on campus but school wasn't in session.
Also, our senior year, our last meet was Super Six, and we finished the best in the school's history and it was our last meet. That was really special for all of us, so that always stands out too.
Tori: Can you talk about the biggest triumph you had with SWG?
Shelly: For me, figuring out how to be consistent in competition is something that I struggled with early on, and the mental aspects of that, I definitely improved on over my time at Stanford.
Tori: Can you talk more about your academic experience at Stanford?
Shelly: I majored in mechanical engineering for undergrad and it was really important to me to have a strong academic performance in addition to doing gymnastics. In fact, my dad didn't want me to do gymnastics in college because he wanted me to focus on academics, and it was important to me to prove to him that I could do both. So I spent probably more time than most college athletes studying, I went to every professors' office hours. I really enjoyed taking classes with my teammates when that was possible.
Mechanical engineering included a lot of team projects, which I really enjoyed, and that's definitely something I do in my day-to-day career now, working with a group of people to create something.
Tori: Do you have any other thoughts or reflections about your particular era with the team?
Shelly: We were really an up-and-coming program my freshman year and we were the first class to go to NCAA's all four years that we were there. We won Pac-10 [championships] my freshman year and my senior year and went to Super Six twice in that time. So it was really a time when the program was growing and becoming one of the top programs in the nation. It was really exciting to be a part of and we had a great group of student-athletes, and to the credit of the upperclassmen my freshman year, we were able to come together really fluidly.
Even after I graduated, it was exciting to see that success continue and see the team be one of the top programs in the nation consistently, which certainly wasn't something Stanford gymnastics always had.
Tori: Do you have any advice for the current athletes?
Shelly: When I was a freshman, some of the seniors told me that the times would go by faster than I could imagine and as a freshman you kind of laugh and think, `yeah, sure, whatever.' But it does. It goes by so quickly and you can never go back to a time in your life like when you're doing college gymnastics with a group of people who you care about so much. So really appreciate how special that is and enjoy it.
Even though it's really, really hard and you're working really, really hard, it's a time you have to relish because it's so special and you'll never get it back again.